The United States must decide whether it is a sovereign nation with defined borders, or merely the “promised land” for anyone in the world who wanders, sneaks, or breaks in. For more than a couple generations we’ve sent such mixed signals on this issue, that plenty of people are willing to make dangerous journeys in the hopes of having their status legalized later. This is the result:
For five days now hundreds of Central Americans — children, women, and men, most of them from Honduras — have boldly crossed immigration checkpoints, military bases, and police in a desperate, sometimes chaotic march toward the United States. Despite their being in Mexico without authorization, no one has made any effort to stop them.
Organized by a group of volunteers called Pueblos Sin Fronteras, or People Without Borders, the caravan is intended to help migrants safely reach the United States, bypassing not only authorities who would seek to deport them, but gangs and cartels who are known to assault vulnerable migrants.
Organizers like Rodrigo Abeja hope that the sheer size of the crowd will give immigration authorities and criminals pause before trying to stop them…
So we have 1,200 or more people making their way en masse to the U.S. border, with Mexico’s complete complicity in allowing them to pass through from Central America. If 1,200 people (roughly the size of a U.S. Army battalion) showed up at our border with weapons and walked across, that would be considered an invasion. Is it any less of an invasion if they are unarmed but still uninvited when they cross? Is it any less of an invasion when recent years show the border is being probed and scouted in an increasingly aggressive and confrontational manner?
If the group traveling through Mexico arrives together at our border, what will be the nation’s response? I’m certain the mainstream media will seek to tug heartstrings with accounts of what these people left, the challenge of their journey and what they “dream” of being in the U.S. None of those same outlets will balance their stories with information about what illegal immigration costs the U.S. taxpayer, and how it affects employment and wage prospects for the most vulnerable of our own people. None of them will confront the simple fact the U.S. physically can’t be a lifeboat for the entire world. In short, the corporate news will act as a fifth column already within the gates, trying to convince us we don’t need gatekeepers at all.
What gets me is our nation spends north of $600 billion a year on our military… the traditional role of which is to secure our territory and interests. Generations of Americans are used to seeing our military in action overseas, but I believe few could conceive of it garrisoning our own border as it once did. And that’s regrettable, because this issue is kicking into overdrive, and the Border Patrol is ill-equipped to handle the problem. It makes no sense to fund an overseas expeditions while leaving our own border undefended. As commander-in-chief, Trump has the authority to order military reinforcements to the border. The million-dollar question is, will he?
It would seem that in the next couple of weeks, we will either see a demonstration of renewed resolve to defend our sovereignty, or we will show the world conclusively that the U.S. border is simply a welcome mat for anyone who cares to show up.